Workout Routines

Caveman Training: 3 Hardcore Workout Routines

Try any or all of these caveman training programs to build muscle, boost your athleticism and burn bodyfat.


A calculated mix of traditional and novel strength and conditioning exercises, Caveman Training is prided on its specificity as much as its difficulty. It produces fast and measurable results whether you're seeking muscle mass and definition or looking to boost performance in a particular sport or activity. "It takes the best of all training methods and puts them into a truly comprehensive routine that's goal-specific."

So says Scott Ramsdell, creator of Caveman Training and owner of Minnesota-based Athletic Performance Inc. (API), where Sherk and a handful of other top-tier mixed martial artists endure the frenzied and relentless pace of this system before heading to the Octagon. Ramsdell conceived of Caveman Training with athletes in mind but has expanded it to include more than 80 detailed routines that anyone can do, depending on their goals and experience levels.

"Caveman Training originated here at API," he says. "I was tired of the play-it-safe attitude with athletes. I was tired of seeing them coddled as if they were going to get injured or die if they were pushed too hard. I've heard from every one of my fighters that their training with me is harder than their fights. I believe this should be true of every sport. The training and preparation for the competition should be harder than the competition itself."

While API's Scott Ramsdell recommends performing Caveman Training under a certified trainer's supervision, particularly if you're new to it, he offers up these three routines as a broad sample of what he puts his athletes through. He also has a rating system—gold, silver or bronze—depending on how long it takes you to finish each workout.


In this workout, the reps are few and the weights are fairly heavy. Pace is the ultimate controlling factor in how effective this routine can be.

Treadmill (10% incline/10 mph) 20 seconds
Slosh Pipe Overhead Squat 5 rep
Wide-Grip Pull-Up 5 reps
Double-Under Jump (jump rope) 20 reps
Heavy Bag Twirl (60-pound bag) 5 reps
Box Jump (24" platform) 10 reps
Double-Under Jump (jump rope)
20 reps
Sandbag Clean and Press 5 reps

Going Caveman: Start from the top of the list and work your way down as fast as possible while maintaining good form on each exercise. There's no scheduled rest. Perform the sequence 10 times total, noting your time after the final sandbag clean and press.

Score: Gold: 20 minutes or less; Silver: 20:01-25:00; Bronze: 25:01+